Of course, the Presbyterians are not considering lengthy condemnations of other nations. Israel remains the nearly only overseas cause of concern for Religious Left elites. In his testimony to his fellow Presbyterians in Minneapolis this week, my colleague Alan Wisdom noted the report angrily employs words such as “sin,” “evil,” “appalled,” “ghastly,” and “intolerable” regarding Israel, which is likened to a “Nazi state,” apartheid South Africa, and the former Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, Alan observed that the report contrastingly and more gently observed that Hamas, while “militant,” compassionately spends 90 percent of its resources on “social services.” There is no mention of Hamas’ radical Islam and dedication to Israel’s destruction. Meanwhile, the report similarly observes that “Hezbollah, while classified as a ‘terrorist organization,’ demonstrates through its social services and governmental participation that it is a more broadly political body guided by an Islamist viewpoint of some flexibility.” With equal generosity, the report dismissed fears about Iranian nukes because “Iran has not invaded any other country for centuries.”
Alan further noted the report’s supposedly reassuring claim that only “a relatively small minority [of Palestinians] has resorted to violence.” And of course, the report blames Israel as the root cause of violence: “If there were no occupation,” it claims, “there would be no Palestinian resistance.” The report wants the U.S. to cut off aid “to bring Israel to compliance,” without suggesting U.S. aid reductions to any other human rights abuser, while demanding more dollars for the Palestinian Authority. “Is this prophetic truth-telling?” Alan asked of his fellow Presbyterians. His full analysis of the report is here.
Early reports suggest Presbyterians will tone down the report somewhat, more explicitly affirming Israel’s right to existence and deleting some of the harsher anti-Israel rhetoric. A final vote by the General Assembly should come late this week.
Even if moderated, the Presbyterians Middle East Study Report still illustrates the Religious Left’s almost psychopathic preoccupation with Israel. There are evidently no proposed church study committees on abysmal human rights abuses and civil strife in Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Syria. Only Israel merits special attention. Would Presbyterians and so many others be so closely examining Israeli faults if Israel were not primarily Jewish and pro-American? Almost certainly not.
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